Foods/Supplements-Vitamins: Angelica

Continuing my alphabetical review of natural products that have a PCa presence on PubMed:

Angelica, to me, was always the nasty green candied substance found on the top of some fruitcakes when I was a child. Nothing natural about it.

There are many species of angelica, but Korean angelica (Angelica gigas Nakai [AGN]) is what interests researchers most. The presumed active elements are decursin, decursinol angelate & decursinol.

[1] (2009 - US/Korea) Full text link below.

I'm starting with this to grab some attention.

Angelica gigas Nakai is "... a novel anti-androgen/AR agent. We have identified the following mechanisms to account for the specific anti-AR actions: rapid block of AR {androgen receptor} nuclear translocation, inhibition of binding of 5alpha-dihydrotestesterone {DHT} to AR and increased proteasomal degradation of AR protein. Furthermore, decursin lacks the agonist activity of the "pure" anti-androgen bicalutamide and is more potent than bicalutamide in inducing PCa apoptosis."

If decursin could do a fraction of that, it would be a valuable supplement.

[2a] (2005 - US)

"We isolated a coumarin compound decursin (C19H20O5; molecular weight 328) from Korean angelica (Angelica gigas) root and characterized it by spectroscopy. Here, for the first time, we observed that decursin (25-100 μmol/L) treatment for 24 to 96 hours strongly inhibits growth and induces death in human prostate carcinoma DU145, PC-3, and LNCaP cells."

[3] Much of the work on PubMed comes from the University of Minnesota, Austin. USA. Perhaps they thought they were onto a financial winner. Decursin as part of a product (or as an analog - see [3d]).

I'll group these together.

Beginning with [3f], Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Pharmacy, Amarillo gets in on the act. Presumably because Junxuan Lü moved there.

[3a] [3b] [3c] [3d] & [1]

[3e] "We report here that a synthetic decursin analog, decursinol phenylthiocarbamate (DPTC), has greater in vivo stability than the parent compounds."

[3f] (2015) At last! A mouse study.

"Whereas AGN-treated TRAMP mice decreased dorsolateral prostate lesion growth by 30% .., they developed fewer and smaller neuroendocrine-carcinomas ... (0.12 g/mouse) than vehicle-treated counterparts (0.81g/mouse ...)"

"Moreover, AGN upregulated mRNA of genes related to immune responses, restored expression of many tumor suppressor genes ..."

[3g] (2015) more mice

[3h] (2016)

"To facilitate human anti-cancer translational research, we characterized the tissue distribution of AGN marker pyranocoumarin compounds decursin (D) and decursinol angelate (DA) (~50% in AGN) and their metabolite decursinol (DOH), assessed safety of sub-chronic AGN dietary exposure in mice, and explored the impacts on the plasma aqueous metabolites and prostate transcriptome."

[4] (2007 - Korea)

"Aberrant accumulation of intracellular β-catenin is involved in the progression of prostate cancer at an early stage, during the formation of the primary lesion and at the advanced, hormone-refractory stage (Barker and Clevers, 2000). Using a cell-based screen, we showed that decursin suppresses the Wnt/β-catenin pathway by promoting the degradation of β-catenin.

[5] (2011 - Korea)

...

This is going to seem like a Life Extension magazine parody. First the hype, then the product:

Cogni-Q from 'Quality of Life' has patented NM-176, which delivers 40 mg decursin & 0.4 mg decursinol.

iherb.com/Quality-of-Life-L...

[6] (2015) This is puzzling. Junxuan Lü & the team from the University of Minnesota & Texas Tech are suddenly doing a human safety study using Cogni-Q. Not their product?

"Gender-wise, men absorbed the parent compounds faster and took shorter time to reach DOH {decursinol} peak concentration. The human data supported an extensive conversion of D {decursin} and DA {decursinol angelate} to DOH, even though they metabolized DA slightly slower than rodents. Therefore, the data generated in rodent models concerning anti-cancer efficacy, safety, tissue distribution and pharmacodynamic biomarkers will likely be relevant for human translation."

-Patrick

[1] nature.com/aps/journal/v28/...

[2] cancerres.aacrjournals.org/...

[3a] cancerres.aacrjournals.org/...

[3b] mct.aacrjournals.org/conten...

[3c] nature.com/aps/journal/v28/...

[3d] ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/192...

[3e] ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/218...

[3f] ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl...

[3g] ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/261...

[3h] ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl...

[4] molpharm.aspetjournals.org/...

[5] ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/216...

[6] ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl...

3 Replies

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  • This is interesting, I think. Chemo and other cancer drugs have partially melted my brain. lol. Can you give us a brief synopsis in simple English? Thanks

  • Hi Wayne,

    The briefest response is to say it has Casodex-like properties - without the Casodex problem:

    "our results show for the first time that the non- steroidal anti-androgen bicalutamide {Casodex} acquires agonistic properties during long-term androgen ablation" i.e. it may eventually stimulate PCa growth.

    nature.com/bjc/journal/v81/...

    -Patrick

  • Thanks Patrick. I've been taking Casodex since November and know that you can only take it for a limited time. I'm always looking for alternatives.

    Wayne

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